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Baidu sues registrar over DNS records hack

Legal salvo lands in New York

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Baidu has filed suit against its US-based domain registrar after a recent DNS records hack that redirected surfers towards a defaced page, instead of the Chinese search engine.

The traffic hijack attack resulted from "gross negligence" on the part of domain registrars Register.com (no relation), a lawsuit filed by Baidu in New York alleges.

As a result of the 12 January hack, surfers hoping to reach Baidu.com were redirected to a site run by the Iranian Cyber Army. The search engine's Chinese site (Baidu.com.cn) was unaffected by the cyber-assault.

Baidu said the redirection attack affected its traffic for hours before its records were put straight. The search engine site declined to detail its losses or specify how much it was seeking in damages from Register.com, Chinese news agency Xinhua reports.

The legal move follows two days after Baidu announced that its CTO Yinan Li was leaving the firm for unspecified "personal reasons", via a minimalist statement that did nothing to quell speculation he'd been shown the door in the wake of last week's DNS hijack attack.

Baidu controls an estimated 62 per cent of the Chinese search market recently placed in flux by Google's threat to quit the country, in the wake of unrelated cyber-espionage attacks traced back to China.

The Iranian Cyber Army group responsible for the Baidu attack carried out a similar DNS hijack attack against Twitter last month, protesting Western cyber activism in the wake of disputed Iranian elections last year. ®

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